Many Students Experience Hazing in High School, Study Says

Hazing involves student groups engaging in silly stunts and drinking games.

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A new survey on student hazing suggests that high schools are not doing enough to combat the problem. The survey, which was conducted by two University of Maine researchers, finds that many college freshmen said they experienced hazing as high school students. According to the results, 47 percent of freshmen said they were hazed in high school, the Associated Press reports. That figure hasn't changed much from 2000, when 48 percent of high schoolers reported being hazed.

Elizabeth Allan and Mary Madden, professors at the University of Maine's College of Education and Human Development, are the authors of the most recent survey. They collected responses from 11,480 freshmen from 53 colleges and universities that participated in a previous survey on college hazing. Not surprisingly, the most incidents of hazing on high school campuses involved sports teams (47 percent). But hazing was also common in ROTC (46 percent) and the performing arts groups (34 percent).

The high school students who reported being hazed said the activities ranged from "silly" stunts to drinking games. In most instances, students said they were required to associate exclusively with members of a group or to sing or chant in public. But at least 19 percent said they were verbally abused, and 8 percent said they drank to the point of getting sick or passing out.

Several recent incidents of high school hazing underscore the severity of the problem. In Santa Fe, N.M., four high school students are facing charges of sodomizing teammates during a football camp. They have pleaded not guilty.

The survey's authors said that high schools should pay more attention to hazing and not focus solely on combating bullying, which they say are two different problems.


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